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Government announces skills funding commitments

Organisations in the energy, health and creative industries are among those selected to receive funding to help improve the workplace skills of potential workers, the Government has said.10 Oct 2011

The Government said it was awarding £11 million to the organisations through the first round of its Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF). Under the GIF scheme organisations can apply for up to £50 million of annual Government funding, with the money handed to the organisations that make commitments to improve skills in their sectors.  

"Sustained economic recovery will depend on our ability to excel in the high tech skills that our most innovative companies need to compete in the globalised economy," Business Secretary Vince Cable said. 

"That is why this Government is committed to skilling up our workforce through work based training," he said. "By providing concentrated seed funding for employer led projects that attract further investment from business, we’re targeting money where it will be best placed to drive growth."  

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) statement said that the Government's funding commitment could be doubled by "co-investment from employer groups".  

The organisations awarded funding include Renewable UK, Cogent and Skillset, the BIS said.  

Trade association Renewable UK will award 2,000 training places predominantly aimed at "mature skilled workers" who want to obtain skills in order to work in the green energy industries, BIS said.  

"Working with employers, universities and colleges, the [training scheme] aims to bridge the skills gap to help build a new low carbon economy, making the most of the UK’s abundant sources of renewable energy," BIS said.  

Skills agency Cogent has been awarded funding in order to develop a training agency for apprenticeships in the science sector, whilst Skillset will develop a system for evaluating higher education courses in the creartive industries sector "to ensure clearly signposted training and help identify high quality job applicants," BIS said.

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